Last Updated on 7 months by Susan Mayrich
If you’re getting annoyed about why does my needle keep hitting the plate, there are 7 potential reasons behind this problem. We’ll discuss each issue to help you diagnose and troubleshoot your sewing machine.
You’ll also know how to set up your needle for each project to avoid sewing problems in the future. And if you need a complete guide, read sewing machine problems and remedies for everything you need to know.
7 Most Common Reasons On Why Does My Needle Keep Hitting The Plate
Constantly having your sewing machine needle hit the needle plate can be annoying. Here are the common reasons why needles in sewing machines keep hitting the needle plate:
Wrong needle position
Something to remember before anything else is to check the position of your needle. It should not be too high or low on the needle plate. Needles that are too low will hit the plate, which can also cause machines to jam.
On the other hand, a needle set too high will affect your stitch quality. To prevent the needle from hitting the needle plate, set it to the recommended height based on your model manual.
For example, if you’re working on a heavy fabric, set your needle to the highest position. And on the contrary, it should be in your lowest position when sewing a light fabric.
If you have your needle at the recommended height for the project, the following questions will involve the needle itself. For example, the needle might be hitting the needle plate because it’s bent.
Always check your needles before starting any project. And if it’s bent or damaged, replace it immediately. A general rule to remember is to use a new needle after eight hours of sewing.
Damaged needle plate
Besides the needle, the problem might be your actual needle plate. A damaged needle plate can also cause the needle always to hit it.
It might be worn out, which can eventually cause the needle to get stuck and bent. Replace it and purchase the correct one for your model from a reputable dealer of its accessories.
Loose needle clamp screw
It’s a good habit to replace needles when starting a new project, sewing a different type of fabric, or after eight hours of work. However, you should also ensure you’ve installed your needle correctly.
First, the flat part of the needle should be facing the back of your sewing machine. Second, use the correct screwdriver and tighten the needle clamp screw, as it could be loose and cause the needle to hit the plate.
Incorrect combination of needle, thread, and fabric
Using the correct kind of needle for the fabric and thread of your project is crucial to avoid problems. If not, your needle can hit the plate and damage it.
Refer to your guide or find the support page online for your sewing machine. Choose the correct combination of parts, like the needle and settings for the fabric and thread you’ll use.
If you also need to rethread your needle, here’s how to thread a needle in a Brother sewing machine.
Did you know that even the wrong sewing machine tension can cause the needle to hit the plate? In particular, your upper thread tension might be too tight.
Refer to your manual to know how to adjust your tension safely. Usually, it’s via a dial that you’ll turn to tighten or loosen.
You’re pulling the fabric
A tip to remember if you notice your sewing needle hitting the plate after checking everything above is how you work. When sewing, you might unconsciously pull the fabric too hard.
Of course, this will have the needle strike the plate or needle hole despite checking the parts discussed above. Your needle can also get broken and warrant a replacement.
But, again, you can refer to your manual, as the support page discussed what to do with this problem.
How To Fix Your Needle Hitting The Plate On Your Sewing Machine?
Here are the steps to fix your sewing needle when it keeps hitting the needle plate. Please also review the previously discussed reasons to pinpoint the problem.
Check the needle
Before checking various machine parts, your needle area should be your priority. First, the issue might be from a bent or broken sewing machine needle.
Why does my needle keep hitting the plate?
Damaged needles always tend to hit one side of the plate. But if you’ve just replaced your needle for the fabric and it’s still hitting the needle plate, check your screws.
Just tighten the needle screw with a screwdriver to see if this will solve the problem. If not, you should check if the flat side of the needle is facing the right way because the plate can hit it.
Use the correct tension
Why does my needle keep hitting the plate?
You’ll encounter stitch and sewing issues when using the wrong tension. If the upper thread tension is too tight, the needle can hit the needle plate.
How to know if you’re using the correct upper thread tension? The upper thread should be the only one visible on the right side of the fabric, and the bobbin thread on the other side.
Speaking of the bobbin thread, are you also encountering issues with it? Here’s Singer sewing machine not picking up bobbin thread for the steps you can take.
Check your thread and needle
The correct combination of parts and accessories is crucial to avoid sewing issues. Different fabrics require the right needle and thread.
Furthermore, your needle should also be threaded correctly. Check these things and see if it solves the issue.
Match the correct presser foot to the stitch
Another essential combination when using the sewing machine to avoid problems like the needle hitting the needle plate is the stitch and presser foot. Using the correct presser foot to the stitch would be best.
Why does my needle keep hitting the plate?
Familiarize yourself with the compatible stitch and presser foot. There are different types of presser feet; using the wrong one can cause the needle to strike it and eventually get broken.
How Do You Stop A Needle From Hitting A Plate?
So what can you do to keep your sewing needle from hitting the needle plate? Remember these tips next time you start any project:
- Inspect the needle to see if it’s bent or broken
- Replace the broken needle
- Make sure your stitch and pressure foot combination is correct
- Realign the sewing machine needle if it’s off-center
- Follow the machine manually to know the correct instructions for aligning the needle
- Check if you installed the needle correctly and if the needle bar is at the correct height
- Tighten the needle clamp screw securely
- Replace the needle plate if it’s damaged or broken
- Use the correct needle and fabric for the fabric you’re sewing
What Is A Needle Plate?
The needle plate or throat plate is among the most essential and used parts of the sewing machine because it’s where the sewing machine needle passes through when making stitches. If there’s any problem with the needle plate, you’ll have issues with sewing and various types of needle positions.
Additionally, the needle plate is the fabric’s surface as it passes through the sewing machine. Familiarize yourself with the different types of needle plates to make sewing easier:
Types of sewing machine needle plate
- Standard needle plate: usually included with your machine’s accessories and used for zigzag, buttonhole, and various decorative stitches
- Straight stitch needle plate: has round holes for the needle to keep the fabric from being pulled into it when sewing straight stitches
How to clean the needle plate
You can remove the needle plate to clean the area underneath where lint and debris can accumulate. Remember to clean the needle plate once a month as maintenance and care to avoid issues in the long run.
Here are the steps to give you some idea. However, every machine is different, so please refer to your manual to safely remove the needle plate.
- Loosen and remove the screws with a screwdriver; use the correct type for the screws
- After you remove the needle plate, clean the bobbin site of lint and debris; use a small brush for the fluff and pull out the stray threads with tweezers
- Don’t use canned air when cleaning underneath the needle plate because the dirt will just be pushed deeper into the sewing machine
- Replace the needle plate and secure it with the screws
What Is The Purpose Of The Needle Plate?
The needle plate aims to ensure a smooth sewing experience since it’s where the needle passes through to make stitches. It covers the bobbin area and can even be your guide to sewing neatly.
Some needle plates have marks for needle placement and seam allowance so you can create perfect stitches. It would also be best if you never neglected it because it supports the fabric as a stable place.
You may find specialty products for different sewing projects depending on the model. For example, Janome has an HP needle plate that works with the HP foot for high-speed straight stitching and perfect top stitches.
How Do I Fix My Needle Plate?
- Raise the needle
- Turn off the sewing machine
- Raise the presser foot
- Remove the needle, presser foot, and its holder
- Remove the flat bed and bobbin cover
- Slide off the needle plate
- Inspect the needle plate and replace it if necessary
- If you’re unsure how to remove your needle plate, find an authorized service center for your model or check the recommended replacement by your manufacturer
And that’s it! You just learned why does my needle keep hitting the plate, and checking these issues should resolve your problem.
Start by ensuring your needle is in the correct height, your needle isn’t broken, the needle is inserted securely and correctly, you’re using the right combination of needle, thread, and fabric, the upper thread tension is not too tight, and you’re not pulling the fabric.
If your needle plate is damaged, you might also need to replace it.